Infected hair follicle is clinically known as “Folliculitis”. It is described as the inflammation of the hair follicles. The common site of infection includes the legs, buttock, beard area and the scalp. It can also occur anywhere on the skin.
Diagnosing the condition is based primarily on the looks of the skin but laboratory test may also show presence of fungus or bacteria that may have caused the infection.
Infected Hair Follicle Causes
The common cause of infected hair follicles is a type of bacteria which is known to be “Staphylococcus Aureus”, thus it can also be known as a staph infection of the follicles of the hair.
Other causes of this condition are shaving which can cause friction of the hair follicles, tight clothing (leaves hair breathless), sweating excessively and skin problems such as dermatitis, acne and the use of adhesive tapes for dressings.
Bacteria found is contaminated pools is another cause for having infected hair follicle. Another cause would be the Barber’s itch or the Pseudofolliculitis which can cause infection of the hair follicles due to an ingrown beard and Tinea Barbae which is caused by having a fungus on the beard area.
Infected Hair Follicle Symptoms
The symptoms of infected hair follicles may vary and it depends on the causative factor of the condition. The causative factor may be categorized as superficial and deep folliculitis.
Those that are superficial causes includes:
- Psedumonas Folliculitis- characterized by a round, red and itchy bumps
- Staphylococcal folliculitis- characterized as a bumps that is white with pus-filled and veryitchy.
- Tinea Barbae- chrarecterized as itchy and white bumps
- Pityrosporum Folliculi- rest and itchy pustules on the chest, back and neck area.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae- found on the neck, face with dark scars
- Herpetic Folliculitis- the shoulders, face and upper arms are affected with a noticeable blisters that are filled with fluid.
On the other hand, the symptoms of causative factors of deep folliculitis are:
- Blisters that are full of pus that can break and crust
- Pus-filled sores that are inflamed
- Swollen bumps
Infected Hair Follicle on Scalp
Folliculitis can also be seen on the scalp and it is due to the bacteria or yeast infection. It can cause an itchy scalp that can lead to soreness and pain on the scalp. The most common features of scalp folliculitis are bumps that are scattered and infected.
Picture 2 : Infected hair follicle and redness over the swelling
Image source : healthandfitness.com
Infected Hair Follicle on Legs
Since most of us have hairs on our legs, the hair follicles can also be infected. This is caused by wearing tight jeans that causes friction of the hairs of leg and this friction can cause the hair follicle of the legs to be infected. Shaving of hair legs can also cause folliculitis of the legs.
Picture 3 : Infected hair follicle on legs
Image source : dematologistnyc.org
Infected Hair Follicle Treatment
Treatment options depend on the severity and the location of the infected hair. For a hair follicle infection that is mild, it does not require any treatment.
Home treatments are also available such as applying warm compress on the infected site that helps in the healing process and helps promote drainage of the follicles that are affected, the use of tea tree oil which can act as an antibiotic and at the same time acts as an antiseptic.
Moreover, if such case that if the infection is already painful then it is time to consult a physician for a treatment. Antibiotic creams such as Mupirocin may be prescribed for small areas covered by the infection. Cleaning of the area with hands also cleaned is necessary before applying the cream. Antibiotic tablets such as Dicloxacillin and other antifungal medication are also prescribed.
Hair infected follicles usually responds to treatment but may recur. If you notice any signs and symptoms of the condition especially is it lasts longer than 2-3 days and or if you notice that the infection spreads, immediately consult a physician.
The best way to reduce damage to the hair follicles is to prevent and avoid the cause of it but keeping the area clean (practice proper hygiene), avoid constrictive clothing, avoid shaving and avoiding clothing that are contaminated because we all know that Prevention is better than cure.
by on in Skin, Hair And Nails